May 13th, 2012
11:22 AM ET
9 years ago

Conservative leader: Obama marriage announcement comes at a cost

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama’s support of same-sex marriage will hurt him in states he captured in 2008, the president of American Values, Gary Bauer, predicted Sunday.

“I think the president this past week took six or seven states he carried in 2008 and put them in play with this ill-conceived position,” Bauer said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage on Wednesday after previously saying his opinions on the issue were “evolving.”

However, the conservative leader said Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, should not focus solely on social issues and should instead “explain to the American people why he would be a great president.”

“I think you do that by giving your views on a whole range of issues,” Bauer said. “If he does that he’ll be very successful.”

Bauer appeared on CNN alongside Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who said social issues should not be a “central point” of Romney’s campaign, but said defending the family “should be a priority.”

“I just think he needs to continue talking about all of the issues that are important to evangelical voters, and I think yesterday was a good start,” Perkins said of Romney's commencement address at the Christian Liberty University on Saturday. “He didn’t dance around the issues; he talked about the common values that he shares with the evangelical community.”

The influential social conservative criticized Romney earlier in the presidential cycle for not speaking out strongly enough on social issues and more recently said he should learn from the campaign message of Rick Santorum, who repeatedly invoked such issues during his failed bid White House bid.

On Sunday, Perkins said Obama's statement helped boost Romney's standing with evangelicals, who overwhelmingly support him over the incumbent president, according to recent polling.

“I think the president is what helped Romney this week the most this week with his announcement,” Perkins told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Yet Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois disagreed, telling CNN the president will not "lose votes that he otherwise hadn't lost" following the marriage declaration.

"I'm not sure the evangelicals were going to lean toward President Obama anyway," Durbin, the Senate's No. 2 Democrat, said.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, a swing state that banned same-sex marriage in 2006, predicted the announcement would have little impact in his state, which supported Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

"I think what the president's personal opinion is and how he's wrestled with this is just another example of who he is and the strength of his character," Hickenlooper said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I don't think that's going to affect - have much effect in Colorado."

Turing to vice presidential politics, Perkins and Bauer also offered their suggestions for who should be the former Massachusetts governor's running mate in 2012.

Perkins' pick: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal or former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Bauer's pick: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Also see:Also see

Romney talks faith, pranks in Christian television interview

Romney builds inter-faith bridge in Liberty U commencement address

Santorum to Romney: 'Step up' and use 'potent weapon' of same sex marriage

Poll: Majority approves of Obama's marriage decision

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (468 Responses)
  1. badcyclist

    I am sure that Obama truly appreciates the advice that his friend and personal consultant Gary Bauer is giving him.

    May 14, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Jean... What special rights are gays asking for? They just want the same rights as others

    May 14, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Terry

    I have known many people in my life time who are homosexuals and like most of them, does this mean I am pro-gay,,no, what this means is I accept people for who they are,,now do I think they should be allowed to marry. No,,the bible speaks against homosexuality. And agreedly God makes no mistakes, but he has given man free will to choose between right and wrong. So, that being said, I believe people follow their desires whether they are right or wrong. You can justify anything you do, simply because that is what you want to do. God created man and woman, and told them to procreate. He designed everyliving animal, fish, and fowl in the same, one of each sex. Why then would someone think it is ok with God, to then for the same sex to live together in the sacrements of God's word as a couple. When that was not his design. Freewill, the right to choose between what is a sin, and what is not.

    May 14, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Some people simply do not believe in separation of church and state. Those are the people who will, and have been, destroying this country from the inside out. Nothing wrong with their religions, but they have no right to impose it upon everyone through a democratically elected government..

    May 14, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. talbet

    It's going to make Obama look like a compassionate person and Romney look like an elitist. He'll do just fine.

    May 14, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Civil Rights should be put on a public referendum. The minority will always lose. Referendums are for school budgets, term limits, property tax rates, etc. Not Civil Rights.

    May 14, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. You heard it worst on CNN

    Enough with this already. Gay marriage is a states issue and not even relevant to this election. Who cares what Obama thinks about gay marriage. It's all a political stunt on the part of the democrats to take the focus away from the real issues, our soaring national debt!!! Our sky rocketing unemployment and our financialy devastating involvement in these foreign wars!!!

    May 14, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. Regis990

    @Terry I'd rather have the compassion shown by tolerant people than the lack of compassion shown by the God in the bible.

    May 14, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. Michael

    This is what could could cost "repuglicans" hypocrisy! They say they follow the bible even Jesus Christ and the Apostles teachings What a laugh), Jesus would be labeled a socialist by every covservative narrator or conservative pundit due to His redistributiuon of wealth theology! His sayings like "hardly will a rich man enter into the kingdom of God," or "let not the rich man glory in his riches," or His parable about a rich man named lazarus! Then there is Apostle Paul who says "Charging they that they who are rich in this world, be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches,,,that they do good, that they be rich in good works, READY TO DISTRIBUTE, willing to communicate. Jesus was anti War, anti capital punishment, saying we should seek peace and avoid War, and love our enemies. Do conservatives really believe Jesus's teaching? I think they are a bunch of hypocrite, using gullible manipulating christians, who never read their bibles!

    May 14, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. bbrooker88

    It makes ZERO difference what it says in the Bible. The Bible is just a book the same as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a book. Neither should be cited in regards to human rights.

    May 14, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. Kenny K

    @You heard it worst on CNN

    Enough with this already. Gay marriage is a states issue and not even relevant to this election. Who cares what Obama thinks about gay marriage. It's all a political stunt on the part of the democrats to take the focus away from the real issues, our soaring national debt!!! Our sky rocketing unemployment and our financialy devastating involvement in these foreign wars!!!
    President have to deal with every issue at the same time. Do I hear MULTI-TASKING?

    May 14, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. talker9180

    I don't want to vote for Obama and I cannot vote for Romney–so I guess I sit this election out.

    May 14, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Mike

    Lets see – Romney should follow Rick Santorum's strategy of speaking out on social issues, even though that strategy failed to win Santorum almost any delegates with the base that would actually care, and would completely scare off more moderate voters? Genius.

    Dick Durbin is spot on – this won't cost Obama a single vote. The voters who actually care about this issue enough to vote on it would have almost certainly voted for Romney anyway. This is a purely political move, and one that I think is brilliant at that. Does anyone really think that Obama cares enough about gay marriage to jeopardize his reelection? This is a calculated move that I think wins him respect from his base at a minor cost to conservative voters he probably wouldn't have won anyway.

    May 14, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. sassysticks53

    Bauer and Perkins – Ugly and Evil. Look at their dead looking faces! Their faces say it all! Fascists!

    May 14, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Kenny K

    Does God tell 70 years old people who are just getting married to procreate?

    May 14, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. sassysticks53

    I don't want to vote for Obama and I cannot vote for Romney–so I guess I sit this election out.

    I don't want to vote for Romney so I'll be voting for President Obama! See ya in 2016?

    May 14, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Kenny K

    The Republicans are going lose the ga-marriage argument. All Democrats need to do is to keep explaining it from the eyes of the law, not religion. Civil marriage is different from religious marriage. You marriage twice when you marry in church and in court. Democrats view is the right to marry in court of law of the land.

    May 14, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. The Shepard

    To Regis990 – GOD is perfect – people are not – just goes to show you how screwed up the world is when a human being mocks his creator all of the sake of sin and perversion.

    May 14, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. dave

    Are sindle American's being descriminated against? Do singles have any rights afforded to them that gays don't?

    May 14, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. JimmerGOP

    I think it's great Bauer and Perkins coming out like this on CNN. They are such a cute couple. Who knew???

    May 14, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. Peter

    Grampy's (Romney) views about everything are simply not applicable in modern society. He
    neeeds to go back to selling pens and pencils.

    May 14, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. Frank

    These two guys certainly do make a nice couple. Perhaps the IRS should enforce the rule against all 501(c)(3) so called "charities" with respect to the Code's prohibition on political activity. Between the conservative churches (for example the US Conference of Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church) and these organizations like American Values and the Family Research Council, the violations of the rule are legion!

    May 14, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Alger Dave

    I know a number of evangelicals who voted for Obama in 2008 who won't be doing that in 2012 at least in part because of this recent announcement. Obviously there are other issues too, but this is an important issue to many evangelicals. I guess Obama didn't pay attention to the recent NC vote or other like it over the past year or two around the country. Unless the state is really Democratic, these measures are failing miserably. Polling may be split on the issue, but voters don't seem to be.

    May 14, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Chuck

    What's next? People will want to marry their Son/Daughter or their brother/sister. So I guess people should have that right also.

    May 14, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. JM

    It remains to be seen; however, I don't really think it's going to be that big of an issue. People who are already opposed to him will vote for Romney. People who support him are likely to already be left-leaning or moderates. He supports gay marriage. Romney supports ending Medicare and Social Security and not regulating Wall Street (which got us into this mess). People have issues with both candidates.

    May 14, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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